European leaders are weighing whether to extend restrictions or ease lockdowns in the coming months, after the rate of increase in coronavirus deaths in France, Spain and Britain eased over the weekend. In Italy, which has had the West’s longest lockdown, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the economy would begin to gradually reopen on May 4.
In the United States, social distancing will continue through the summer, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx said on Sunday.
Here are some significant developments:
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to return to work on Monday after more than three weeks fighting a coronavirus infection.
- New Zealand is preparing to lift its strict lockdown at midnight, as health officials say that the coronavirus has effectively been eliminated in the country.
- Some Australian states, including Queensland and Western Australia, are beginning to ease coronavirus restrictions and allowing schools to gradually reopen.
- President Trump on Sunday pushed back against reports that White House officials are considering replacing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as frustrations over the secretary’s handling of the coronavirus crisis grow.
- The White House is scheduled to hold a coronavirus task force briefing on Monday, though it’s not clear if President Trump will attend. Over the weekend, Trump took to Twitter to describe the briefings as a waste of the time.